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Wireless networks that follow you around a room, optimize themselves and even talk to each other out loud

Jon Gold | Oct. 9, 2013
The system is said to be able to boost TCP throughput by a factor of 1.6 compared to bare-bones 802.11n.

Iannucci's acoustic network which he has dubbed Blurt uses high-frequency sounds to transmit the ones and zeroes of a network connection. It's well-suited for a network confined by design to a small space.

"Acoustic networks provide great low-leakage properties, since doors and walls are intentionally sound-absorbent," he said. "[They] work over moderate distances, using existing devices, and they don't require any setup for ad hoc communications."

Iannucci acknowledges that Blurt isn't without its problems. Given that sound waves move about a million times slower than radio waves, speed is an issue he said that Blurt can handle about 200 bits per second when using frequencies inaudible to humans, with more speed possible only at the cost of an audible whirring chirp, reminiscent of old telephone modems.

But that's really not the point the idea would be more to do things like verify users of a business' free Wi-Fi are actually sitting in the restaurant, or any other tasks involving heavily location-dependent network services.

 

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